Schumacher College
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Exploring the Microcosmos – New Paradigms from Microbial Communities

26 – 30 May 2014

With Sandor Katz, Eva Bakkeslett, Stephan Harding and Philip Franses

Fee: £795
Bursaries are available for this course, please click here for details on how to apply

New discoveries in microbiology are yielding exciting information about microbial communities and the roles that they play in our bodies and in all life. Learn about this exciting new frontier of knowledge and how to explore these intercultural relationships in culinary, artistic, philosophical and practical ways.

In this course we will work with the microcosmos in new and ancient forms, from compost to kefir. Practical concepts and experiences fermenting foods and beverages will be an important component of the course.

Join us for a unique exploration into the amazing world of microorganisms and discover how they can inspire us to cultivate more tasty, vibrant, sustainable and collaborative communities.

From the course you can expect to gain:

READ: My Microbes, Therefore I Am: Fermentation, Health, and Human Identity by Joanna Wright

LISTEN: Satish Kumar discussing microbes in the Radio 4 programme A Natural History of Me!Click here to listen >>

About the teachers

Sandor Ellix Katz

Sandor is a fermentation revivalist. His book Wild Fermentation (2003), which Newsweek called “the fermenting bible,” and the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught across North America and beyond, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” His latest book, The Art of Fermentation (2012), received a James Beard award. Sandor teaches fermentation workshops in Tennessee and many other places. For more information, check out his website

Eva Bakkeslett

Eva is an artist, cultivator and gentle activist. She reveals and reclaims forgotten or rejected practices, concepts and cultures to redirect our attention to the patterns that connect us to the earth as a living organism. Through a combination of film and social sculpture events she unites nature and culture, people and crafts to create dynamic and aesthetic experiences. Her gentle actions challenge our thinking to reveal new narratives that inspire and engage us to make sense of and embody, sustainable and thriving ways. Eva shows, lectures and performs her work worldwide. With an MA in Arts & Ecology from Dartington College of Arts she divides her time between her roots in North Norway and Southern England. Visit

Dr Stephan Harding

Stephan Harding is Programme Coordinator of the MSc in Holistic Science and resident Ecologist at Schumacher College teaching on the MSc core modules and as part of several of the short courses at the College. He is a close associate of James Lovelock and an expert in the study of Gaia theory and deep ecology. He is the author of Animate Earth and Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College.

Philip Franses

Born in 1958 in England, Philip studied mathematics at New College Oxford from 1976 to 1980. Academia’s dull explanation of the world inspired Philip on a counter-journey into the depths of experience, travelling and a re-sensitisation to quality. In 2005, after a fifteen-year career designing intelligent software, culminating in a programme now used in The Netherlands by all Dutch courts, Philip had a chance encounter with Satish Kumar and was moved to come to Schumacher as an MSc student. Philip began and edits the Holistic Science Journal. He is also the convener of a successful inquiry forum called Process and Pilgrimage. Read more.

Course Fees

£795 All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.

For further information about Schumacher College please see About the College


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Telephone: +44 (0)1803 865934

We will hold the place for five working days for reservations – three weeks before a course or earlier. After five days we will automatically offer your place to someone else if we have not received your application.

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Schumacher College is part of the Dartington Hall Trust, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and as a charity (company no. 1485560, charity no. 279756). Registered office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL, United Kingdom